CSPM Best practices (and mistakes to avoid)

It’s pretty safe to say that when the global pandemic hit us all in 2020, businesses (and individuals) weren’t aware of the potential changes that were about to take place across the global working environment. We saw a massive move to working from home and to this day, global teams and even new hires are finding different ways to work remotely rather than returning to the office. 

Whilst this has brought about a massive shift in the local and national economies around the world, it has also meant that the way we work has changed and with that, the threats to organisations has also changed. With more people on cloud infrastructures and platform services there has been an explosion in complexity and unmanaged risk.

Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM) mistakes are unfortunately common because of this, so it is important to ensure that businesses are prepared to mitigate risks and to develop a cybersecurity methodology that protects businesses. 

In this article you will learn what CSPM is, how Cloud Security Posture Management works, CSPM best practices and finally, typical CSPM mistakes and how to avoid them. 

What is Cloud Security Posture Management

Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM) automates the identification and remediation of risks across cloud infrastructures, including Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Software as a Service (Saas), and Platform as a Service (PaaS). CSPM is used to visualise risk and assess incident response, compliance monitoring, and DevOps integration, and can uniformly apply best practices for cloud security to hybrid, multi-cloud, and container environments.

Of course, in an interconnected world where more and more is being done on cloud services, whilst they provide flexibility they are extremely hard to secure. 

How CSPM Works

In short, CSPM works by examining and comparing a cloud environment against a defined set of best practices and known security risks. 

  • Infrastructure as a Service: IaaS is a type of cloud computing that offers virtualized computing resources on the internet.
  • Software as a Service: SaaS are workflow tools that enable users to store and manage their activities in the cloud.
  • Platform as a Service: PaaS is the complete development and deployment environment in the cloud.

Some of the CSPM tools issue alerts whilst others automate remediation in order to establish better practices and to avoid further security risks. Some of the main CSPM benefits include; 

  • Automatic detection of (possibly risky) misconfigurations

By doing so, it limits the risk that could lead to a data breach or leak.

  • Enables compliance to be verified and demonstrated
    The task of identifying cloud security misconfigurations by using a set of benchmarks and best practices.

  • Helps enforce governance across organisations
    CSPM can help enforce governance everywhere, helping to take pressure off less security-involved teams e.g. dev teams.

  • Continuous monitoring of the cloud environment

Continuously assess and monitor cloud environments to ensure organisations are adhering to their compliance policies.

CSPM Best Practices

As with any protocols used in cybersecurity, there are best practices which can be used throughout the organisation and CISOs to ensure that CSPM is treated properly. These best practices include;

  • Automated compliance and alignment with  cloud security standards
    • Automate the organisation’s security policies
    • Must take into account the dynamic aspect of cloud objects.
  • Quantify risk and prioritise security violations
    • Need to identify the most urgent security issues quickly.
  • Enforce security checks in application development pipelines
    • Acknowledge how detecting security issues late in a development cycle is expensive.
    • Need to identify security shortfalls early.
    • Need to embed security into app development processes

CSPM Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

There are, however common mistakes that occur when it comes to CSPM, so it is important for organisations to find a way to enforce them. 

  • Organisations thinking they can do it all on their own
    It is common for organisations to think that they can do it all on their own. On single projects this can be a good idea but when it gets scaled up - which is the point of cloud protocols - that idea can fall flat on its face. The solution to this mistake is comprehensive and centralised visibility, security, and compliance - which is what CSPM provides.

  • Overlooking the need for multi-cloud CSPM
    Going for a one-size-fits-all approach - which is what CSPM tools offered on a public cloud service - doesn’t provide a unified view across multiple clouds. What is needed however is a robust, multi-cloud CSPM solution.

  • Failing to Develop Widespread Cloud Security Appreciation
    Another mistake is making the focus narrow in scope. Organisations can tend to silo cloud security operations with a small number of IT security people. There is a need for all teams involved in cloud processes to be very security conscious.

    The solution is to ensure that all teams involved in cloud processes / app development etc. are fully acquainted with cloud security requirements.

  • Failing to recognise security risks
    Small organisations may think they don’t need to consider cloud security.That they are not going to be affected by the kinds of risks which large organisations are usually exposed to. However, for many small organisations, they only think about it after they have experienced an attack or breach.

    Cyber security should be a top priority regardless of the organisation size - and a robust CSPM strategy needs to be in place and followed by all teams.

Wrap Up Paragraph 

With more and more organisations switching to work from home practices, cloud security protocols must be a key part of the cybersecurity function. CSPM automates the identification and remediation of risks across cloud infrastructures and if best practices are followed, regardless of the size of the entity, more can be done to stop potential attacks and keep organisations safe. 

If you were looking to get a better understanding of where your organisation’s cyber weaknesses lie, Bluefort’s Evolve IT Services can not only help you to get a much better understanding of these threats but also provide you with the solutions to protect your organisation in the long term.

Call, 01252 917000 , email enquiries@bluefort.com or get in touch with us via our contact form.